The magic of Christmas

News | December 19, 2022

The theme of this year’s Advent devotion is: Do you see what I see? An array of St. Paul voices selected a photo or photos that hold very special memories to them, then sat down and reflected on what that photo means to them. What do they see and remember that others may not when looking at this photo? Through their words and stories, hopefully, you’ll see a little of what they see.

One of my fondest memories as a kid was when I was about five years old. I was spending the holidays at my Aunt Francine and Uncle Steve’s house. My parents were on a cruise and all four of my cousins and I were celebrating Christmas together.  

When we awoke on Christmas morning, we knew Santa had been there. There was no denying it. We saw his footsteps in the snow he’d left behind on the fireplace and carpet, he’d eaten his cookies and drank his milk, even the reindeer had taken a short break on that long night to munch a few carrots before soaring away to the next house. 

When I think about that moment now, I think of my kids and the magic of Christmas for them. We’ve carried on that same visual tradition, building the magic of Christmas. That’s my way of reliving that memory over again and how magical it was for me and I’m hoping it’s just as magical for them.  

My oldest son Christian just turned six years old and we’ve been doing this tradition since he was just a little more than a year old. We can see the magic happening when he experiences Christmas morning. He’s big about making sure there is enough milk and cookies for Santa, and he’s concerned about getting the carrots out for the reindeer. That’s the first thing Christian checks on Christmas morning. Did Santa and the reindeer get enough to eat? 

We’ve continued building that magic with our youngest Charlie. This will be the first year that Charlie is old enough to understand what’s happening so I’m excited that this will be the year for that magic to set in for him. I’m really looking forward to that.  

It’s really special to have such a clear memory of the magic of the season and to now pass that on to my kids, keeping the magic alive.  

Miles Thompson is the operations director at St. Paul. He is married to Margaret and together they are parents to Christian and Charlie. 


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